CrackBerry Asks: Do you want your BlackBerry 10 Superphone to have dedicated keys?

By Joseph Holder on 9 Dec 2011 01:45 pm EST
BlackBerry Milan without dedicated keys   

Yesterday we wrote about how a BlackBerry 10 Superphone might work, given that it has no dedicated keys. In the renderings we've seen so far - the BlackBerry Milan and BlackBerry London Superphones - there have been no signs of a call key, menu key, or even a trackpad. Based on these designs, it's doubtful even a Bold-type BB 10 phone would have more than just a keyboard. Taking a cue from the BlackBerry PlayBook's OS 2.0 beta, we made a few guesses about how each of the keys would be replaced by a gesture. Dedicated keys, we thought? We can do without them.

In the comments, quite a few members of the CrackBerry Nation were quite excited about a button-less OS, many of them BlackBerry PlayBook owners. But many more were quite dissatisfied in this BlackBerry design change. How do you feel? Could you do without all your buttons? Sound off in the comments.

Reader comments

CrackBerry Asks: Do you want your BlackBerry 10 Superphone to have dedicated keys?


how about Capacative Touch Dedicated Keys?
...or did I just make up something that doesnt exist? does that make me a troll :( ???

Capacitive touch keys are horrible especially now with the advent of touch sensitive gestures on the playbook and I assume will be available on bb10.

Personally, I don't find them intuitive and far easier to knock by accident. Part of the reason why I just don't bother with sdome android phones

and Trackpad, which most of the people here demand and without it, would just make this a Dell Venue Pro with a more expensive plan.

There are going to be buttoned and non buttoned BB10 phones and if BB are going to produce a buttoned phone then there is no point only giving us some of the buttons (i.e. the keyboard). Either give us all the buttons or none at all, there is no point in the halfway house of the Milan even if the buttons are widgets on the touchscreen.

Also if you're reading this BB you must give us the keyboard 'smile', the rectangular layout looks cold and unwelcoming and very dull - a bit like when I first saw the kindle, ugly as hell. Angled edges are also a no no.

You should not rule out buttons ...use them when they work on which ever phone they work best with. To just get rid of them for the sake of what?

Use them where they work, and where they dont A FULL TOUCH SCREEN PHONE the new version of a STORM on BB10 whatever that will be called no buttons...

Is it really that hard?

I agree

No buttons on "Storm...10?" ect. BUT if the phone has a keyboard then Buttons.

Done & done, it's that simple

Agreed. The Bold-style should have all the buttons, the all-touch should have no buttons (ie actually be *all*-touch), and the slider could go either way.

but the keypad has to stay...and the gestures need to heavily revised so you can do the stuff with the bottom of the screen, not moving you hand across the entire screen.

It actually is probably difficult to code for hardware keys on one device and no keys for another. Not to mention that the experience is disjointed as you would focus on creating a buttonless experience on one device to only have no need for them on another. I think RIM needs to focus on creating the best experience utilizing a simplified hardware catalog. The idea that you need hardware keys when for a touch device when you've already given up the keyboard just doesn't seem like a good use of space. Please keep in mind that the more keys you slap on the front of a device, the less usable screen territory or the larger/heavier the device has to be to incorporate the same screen size.

I don't need a call and end button when I have to already type the number on the touch screen. In terms of a menu or home button, the BBX UI essentially eliminates the idea of having a "home" screen that you always go back to navigate to the next app and maximizes screen real estate by hiding options in a drop down. Would a menu button simply be used to drop down the top options menu or popup a copy/paste menu? If I'm using a touch screen to select, isn't my hand already on the text, so wouldn't it make more sense to just have the system identify a long press as a menu press?

We really gotta give RIM the flexibility to do something different otherwise we'll end up with a half step toward progress and a Company that won't exist for much longer.

I agree with most of this. However, the physical call button is a shortcut to the call list, eliminating the need for an icon on the screen. It is a one-touch solution, clickable no matter what is on the rest of the screen, to navigate to the phone's essential function: BEING A PHONE.

The end button also makes multitasking easier by allowing you to exit an app without closing it. And holding the berry button allows you to bring up the app-switcher.

I suppose if they figured out some way to emulate the functions of these keys with gestures or something I might be into it, but why try and fix something that isn't broken in the name of "progress"? Sounds like an efficiency killer to me and the reason I choose blackberry is because it is an extremely efficient device, even moreso now that the buttons are seamlessly integrated with the touchscreen experience.

My thoughts exactly. Using an Android was a pain as a communication device. I would always put off writing emails or text messages. As a "minature tablet" it was pretty fun to play with but not what I needed.

Please keep in mind that BBX won't function like BBOS, so things like multitasking and navigation are handled a completely different way

1) End button/BB button - Multitasking utilizes gestures to swip between applications, so having a button that put the device in multitasking mode (i.e. smaller screens with home app row visible on the Playbook), still requires the user to swip to the desired application. It is no longer menu based multitasking like on BBOS.

Clicking a button to bring up a menu, then clicking an app to switch is not more efficient than letting a app run in the background and swiping up to see a high level view of what's going on in the app. The Playbook multitasking system allows the ability to copy from an email, drop it in a word document, copy from a website, drop it in that same document in a matter of seconds which would take twice as long with a intermediate menu step. It would take even longer if the app wasn't already running.

2) When do you have to click the call make or receive a call. In making a call, the button takes you to the contacts/dialer app. There is no reason they you can just have a dialer app on the home screen that does the same thing? I suppose you sacrifice the time it takes to switch between the current app to the dialer, but if the button simply takes you to the app where you have to touch the screen to dial I don't see the point of sacrificing phone real estate to have the button.

At the end of the day, Blackberry has plenty of "communication devices", but they don't have an iphone and android competitor. BBOS7 was about the ultimate old world communication device but 2012 needs to be about new form communication. People are spending less and less time "talking" on the phone and more and more video chatting, texting, browsing the web, using real apps, and playing games. If they want to attract developers to build their ecosystem then they have to have hardware that makes converting and publishing easy. If they want to try and build it all on their own (and take years to do so) then keep making hardware that doesn't match the rest.

the point is that the buttons and trackpad make texting, browsing, and certain apps easier and faster to use...they are not old outdated features, they are just features Apple didn't use. This is a step backward, not a step forward

Well said.

There is no good reason to remove features that enhance usability. To do so, by definition, makes the device less usable. That's undoubtedly a step backwards!

I've said it before: Being able to do something is VERY different from being able to do something well. The trackpad and physical buttons make a multitude of tasks easier, more intuitive, and yes, faster than their touchscreen equivalents.

Well said. If BlackBerry removes buttons on all devices across the board, I'm going back to limp with WindowsPhone 7 (or hopefully WindowsPhone "Apollo" by then).

Need track pad if nothing else for fine tuning touch screen when making corrections to something u typed. Email, text message, whatever!

what makes playbook different from other platforms?
it is fell. If you listened to one of cb podcasts Kevin said that even one button on iPad makes it fell old. That means that blackberry is first button less and best feeling device on the market.
Therefore if we don't need them why have them?

because a tablet and a bloody smartphone are two different things. I expect to type emails efficiently and quickly on-the-go if I whip out my phone. I don't expect the same efficiency for a tablet. If my tablet does exactly the same thing my phone does and works exactly the same, then what is the bloody point of having one?!!!?!!!?

But buttons don't change anything. lack of them makes things easier. If you want to write buy torch, or bold. If not then Torch, or Storm.
On the other hand what would thouse buttons do?
All of them are gestures now

because gestures are slow and buttons and trackpad are always within typing range, whereas the top of the screen is not, especially with a long device like this. Gestures on top and left of the screen is impossible for a right handed person to do without using both hands. Playbook doesn't need button because it's big, reaching for the button whereever they are located would be more troublesome than doing gestures, phones are small, lifting your fingers away from keyboard or switching hand to do gestures is slow and will annoy the hell out of you if you are in a hurry or have a lot of stuff to do on the bloody thing.


With buttons, I always know where a function is and never need to look at my phone ONCE. And I do this frequently everyday. As a "power-user", I can't imagine having to stare at the screen or see where my fingers/thumbs are to make gestures every single time. I don't have time for that. That's why I converted to BlackBerry because navigation is QUICK and painless.

Wait, lack of buttons makes things easier? What?

That's completely absurd. Let's take, for example, the call button. How does taking that button away make answering calls easier? A swipe takes longer, requires you to look at the screen, and it's impossible if you're wearing gloves. (That's harder than pressing a button.) Bringing up the phone app can be done from anywhere by pressing the call button. (Instant and obvious -- that's easy) That is undoubtedly easier than a swipe to bring up the home screen and a tap or more swiping + tap!

That's just one button, I could very easily go on!

As for the trackpad, the advantages it offers are many and have been posted many times in the past. Taking away the trackpad makes doing MANY different tasks much more difficult -- not simpler!


What is RIM thinking? You are catering to the iPhone and Android user with what? Thus far, we have seen nothing that even remotely suggests you are better than them in anything but the keyboard and efficiency in using.

There is no way you can grab any share from iPhone and Android market with this piece of trash. You are making last year's iPhone and Android with specs that will be outdated on release date.

You are not sacrificing the current BB users for new ones, you are just throwing us away for no reason. The only reason BB is alive is because you have loyal customers. Piss us off and once iPhone and Android launch campaigns in other parts of the world, you are over.

If you make an iPhone with the efficiency of BlackBerry, I see the point; but make an iPhone that does worse than iPhone for a higher price is counter-intuitive. Guess why facebook is still around despite all these competitions that do exactly the same thing?

RIM clearly has to figure out a way to integrate the trackpad into the system or there is absolutely no chance BB could survive. Moving the finger to the top of screen and doing all these gestures in emails and documents are so inefficient in business setting that it would drive business users away beyond doubt. Consumers using iPhone and Android would be less than eager to switch to BIS plan for even the same experience, let alone a worse one. BBM would be useless to them unless they have lot of friends in Indonesia, since most of their friends use iMessage. Even the Windows Phone OS has its advantages or selling points so early in its development. Suppose I am a consumer, and not a BB user/fan, can RIM give me 1 selling point for their new device that other devices don't have?

"You are not sacrificing the current BB users for new ones, you are just throwing us away for no reason."
...Because of buttons?

"RIM clearly has to figure out a way to integrate the trackpad into the system or there is absolutely no chance BB could survive."
Are you listening to yourself?!? They have no chance of surviving without BUTTONS?!! Yeah right.

You guys are just dramaqueens. The buttons were iconic to Blackberry. The new buttons are bezel gestures.

Get used to it, if you don't like it. You can stick with OS7 devices and stay off BBX for god sakes.

Face it, RIM is trying to enter the Android and iPhone market with a device so much more inferior than both.

Did you think the same way when the Storms were released? Guess how RIM ends up in the spot they are at right now?

with the all touch I hope they do go all in against apple and android. I believe they have a chance. I also hope they don't forget that the reason they are still standing is because of the keyboard lovers. I mean I'm typing this on my playbook and am doing pretty well but when it comes to my phone i will sacrifice the size of the screen to keep that keyboard. It all depends how these actions are set up on the touch screen as to my desire to keep the home keys but we shall see when the new bold model comes out. maybe I'll be blown away and I may even give up the keyboard. a long shot but with their growth I will be curious with everything they put out(not the milan)

Yeah, it's a good hting they're trying to enter the Android and iPhone market. Because the market they're in right now isn't getting them anywhere.

Nope. I didn't care for phones back then. And wasn't into it.

But I do believe with this new OS and enough support (which they're getting a decent amount of so far with the Playbook), they can again be a contender.

Android, iPhone, and Windows Phones. All don't have buttons, or only have 1 button.

Time for RIM to bring their offering to modern times.

Like I said, there's still OS7 for you guys.

I told my friend if I get a new phone, I need a keyboard. You know what his response was? Everything's going touchscreen. Get used to it. And that's how people think. They want touchscreen. That's what will get people to buy phones.

They should enter the market, but they should enter the market with a device that's either different or superior to the existing devices not one that is inferior, which is what they are doing now.

The trackpad and buttons would make them superior because it adds functionality and ease of use.

Why would an iPhone/Android user wants to buy this inferior phone and enter a BIS plan when it does exactly the same thing their current phone does but at a primitive stage? Is this the way to win market share? No.

People want touchscreen does not mean people don't want trackpad. No one here is asking them to make a full trackpad driven phone, the people here makes it quite clear that the trackpad is added convenience, and without which, the phone is much less efficient than the current generation and loses advantage over iPhone/Android.

Yeah, because of buttons.

See, those buttons (and that trackpad) make using my phone easier, faster, and more efficient. Take away my buttons and my trackpad and what do you have? Just another toy phone.

Ever try selecting text or even just re-positioning the text cursor on an Android phone or an iPhone? It's a nightmare. Doing the same on a Blackberry is intuitive and obvious -- you don't even have to think about it -- even novice users go directly to the trackpad as though it were instinct!

Ever try clicking on a link in your phones browser that is close to other links or otherwise too small to guarantee a hit with a finger? Yeah, the trackpad makes that really easy. Sure, you can pinch-zoom and then click, but it's a pain, it not only slows you down, it's impossible to do one-handed.

Those buttons and that trackpad are huge UI advantages in RIMs favor. Without them, they're just another toy phone -- and one without as many games. (Yeah, you can do "serious" work on an iPhone or Android; just like you can write your dissertation on manual typewriter. You can also use gestures instead of physical buttons for common tasks. In all three cases, you're just making more work for yourself when there are obviously better solutions.)

I use a Blackberry because it makes my life easier. Take away the buttons and the trackpad and using the device instantly becomes harder. Why would I buy a phone that makes my life more difficult?

I don't think you guys have used the Playbook. It works fine without buttons. Just need to get adjusted to it and you're good.

Those 4 buttons are the thing of the past. They need to move on. The bezel gestures are the new buttons.

Well, guess what, the Playbook's sales is the disaster of the century. It certainly wouldn't be a great example unless RIM's goal is to achieve the same sales as the Playbook.

Get a clue, if you can't do better than others in one area, make it up in another. Not throw away the good stuff and make your phone inferior in every aspect.

Mashing buttons aggressively is SOP for many for business/personal use. Mashing a touchscreen and/or touch buttons just isn't the same. Buttons please, RIM: tactile feedback ftw.

The world is a better place with blackberrys that DON'T have these ugly 90's buttons on it. The world has moved on, you don't need them and to be honest i rarely use my Trackpad on my 9900!

I am so glad that RIM finally decided to lose some of its past and to try something really new, you can only be successful if you are brave. Customers will like it (Android and iOS is working without buttons as well... and the consumer basis is much bigger than a few people on the internet that want to stick to their old stuff... you better get some 9900's for the next 10 years :S)

and according to the vote, we shall charge to Waterloo to behead the Execs at RIM shall they remove the trackpad on our little device

Majority doesn't like change. For better or for worse.

Just look at the history.

There were many times I opposed change only to realize it was a change for the better.

Don't worry guys. RIM will still have OS7 devices for you people who say buttons determine their purchase of these BBX phones. :)

not stupid ones...

and we have very little concern over your personal history...

Of course the buttons will determine which device to buy, the brand name means nothing...ease of use is always the key...

I have to say there will be options of what kind of phones we can pick, just a matter of get in your time machine and go ahead about a year!

That's more like devolve.

That's like nature's cruel joke to have an animal ends up with wings but no mouth.

If you're a creationist, that's like God throwing an asteroid down right after it finished something beautiful.

If you're a Christian, that's like doing all the good deeds and having faith in God, only to find out after death that God lied and everyone's going to Hell regardless of what they do.

Yeah, because making a device harder to use is a great idea?

Touch is great for a few things, like scrolling, clicking big icons.

It's a pain in the neck for just about everything else: moving the text cursor, selecting text, pulling up a menu, closing programs, anything requiring more precision than a fat-finger can provide, and typing.

Yeah, typing. Why do you think there are so many soft-keyboard variants? Typing on a touchscreen is difficult and can even be painful. Ask any 9900 user what a good physical keyboard offers heavy email/text users :) It's one of the many reasons my wife gave up her (expensive) new Android phone for an antique Blackberry. The blackberry just does a better job when it comes to PIM and messaging -- and the physical keyboard makes up a good chunk of that difference.

All touch isn't the future. It's a fad. Touch may be here to stay (it has its place), but all touch is a massive UI mistake that the market is only beginning to see. We already have several Android phones with physical keyboards -- and there are surely more to come. Right now, the best selling feature phones are the ones with physical keyboards!

If RIM doesn't give their users what they want -- a trackpad and real buttons -- some one else will. Just look at how well the 9900 sold compared to the 9810 and 9850. It's no contest. Touchscreen plus physical buttons, trackpad, and keyboard make for an awesome combination!

I do actually still use the track pad on my Torch, I have to admin it's good for 1 hand browsing. Can't do that easily on a touch only.

I can adjust to buttonless; more critical for me is that the display be gorgeous, the hardware blazing fast, and the software complete and (relatively) bug-free.

Oh, and lots of developer support would be nice.

I don't care about the buttons that much, but I use the trackpad ALL the time on my Torch 9810. Honestly I wish my Playbook had a track pad too. It is much more accurate for clicking small things or selecting text then the touch screen.

I think you can put the need for a trackpad in the same bucket as the physical keypad. I would not buy a BB without physical keys. I would probably buy without the trackpad, but I wouldn't be happy about it.

and not to mention that BB's touchscreen is not nearly as good as any of its market competitor..."Let's impress the consumers with something we do bad at"...that's a bold step to make...

What's the tagline for their new line of products?
"BlackBerry - Does some of the things your iPhone does"?

After enjoying my Playbook since day one I can't see how keeping the buttons makes sense. I absolutely love this UI. With that said I've always wondered what RIM has planned for the bottom right diagonal swipe - could be interesting if this swipe brought up an onscreen trackpad (with some TAT flair) or maybe the whole set of traditional keys. That's the beauty of this bezel interface - some really fun and effective navigations options available.

uh...I want my BB and Playbook to have the same environment but not the exact same thing, if BB is a miniature Playbook then what is the point of the Playbook?!

That's like saying a chalkboard is good, so we'll replace paper notebooks with miniature chalkboards for all students. Has RIM gone insane? All the companies out there, don't bother buying RIM, just let them fail themselves.

i get where you are going with this but I'm getting an idea that RIM is going to a different direction: making it not only a business phone.

I think that is why they are making their phones look like the competitors' and making both their phones and their tablets bigger. So lets say the Milan is 4", the new playbook is going to be 10", so that people don't make the complaint that the current playnook isn't much bigger than the phone, also, they are making the new playbook 4g (apparently). So both the devices working the same way, sound like any other successful company that makes smartphones and tablets???

oh yea.... thats right Apple did this, turns out it worked and that different kinds of people get the iphone or the ipad (only the ipad doesn't make calls.....yet :p nono im kidding)

but honestly i don't care for the call buttons but the menu and back buttons are one of the key features i like on the torch. hope they incorporate them in the bezel somehow.

the trackpad could go, seeing as it has a bigger screen but i do enjoy the trackpad and would like to see it as an onscreen feature or even better as part of the BlackBerry logo bezzel (would be better since u could use it one handedly while the keyboard is down)

Well, iPad sales did okay but Playbook is now free in my country with any BlackBerry. There's a reason for that, because the market only needed 1 iPad and 1 iPhone. Modernizing BB is great, but turning it into an iPhone is not. This is the exact reason why Nokia, Motorola and Dell made all these BBish phones that couldn't do anything to change the market share of BB phones, because people only need one BB, and which seems to cease exist after 2012.

i'm thinkin this mock-up is just a placeholder until they decide whether they go with the raised or flush design (some big-wig actually thought the 9790 was an improvement over the 9900!)

the logo would never be that low. how low can u go?

silly wabbit

Buttons don't matter too much. All I know is rim better have a qwerty 9900/30 style blackberry 10. They can't buy into the android iphone crowd too much. Majority of people who have blackberry have them for the keyboard and how efficent it is to type on one.

Yet, people are leaving blackberry everyday to go for devices that don't have a keyboard at all. Thus far, it's been a compromise between keyboard and apps. Over time the apps have been improving but the keyboard is still the same. As more and more people get used to the touch screen keyboard (especially at larger screen sizes and better predictive text) it is difficult to build a $20 billion plus revenue business on a keyboard as your differentiation. Look, Microsoft is moving toward voice and gesture controls for PC, Tablets have brought touch into the workplace; how long do you think we are going to have traditional physical keyboards controlling anything technology related?

The only thing consistent in technology is advancement and change. RIM has forgotten their own name...Research IN MOTION. Motion requires that you are either moving forward or backward, but your position is always changing.

uh...but BB has voice control that does nothing, and does it badly and touchscreen that is the worst of all mainstream devices. True that it is difficult to build a $20 billion plus revenue business on a keyboard as your differentiation but it is more difficult to build a business that earns any revenue without any differentiation. The least they can do is to make their move reasonably, not jump off a cliff, then jump into a valley, and then hop into a sea full of sharks...

Their software sucks because rather than building for a consumer, they are building for a slow moving enterprise client that tells them they don't care how the software or hardware looks as long as it is slightly better than what they put out last year and works with the old infrastructure in place. RIM has the capable engineers to build great product but if they don't have the leadership to focus on getting the details right, then it won't ever work. I think the 9900/9930 is a great transition device for people that want a full-time communication tool, but these early BBX devices aren't for those individuals. It's for us users that have been waiting for Blackberry to get with the times and integrated social media, business contacts, cloud computing, app ecosystem into their platform. These are all things that crucial to business today which is the REAL differentiation between RIM, Apple and Google. RIM is supposed to make my life more productive and that goes way beyond character input.

uh...say this to my 3rd 9900 and the hundreds in the forum,
Playbook 2.0.
Their engineer just plain sucks, there's no argument to that. All the basic stuff just gets pushed further and further behind.

Keep the qwerty keyboard!! If RIM gets rid of their bread and butter they lose their advantage.

Why get an all touch berry when u have many other options with all the touchscreen phones out ya know?

I love the new Bold because its the best of both worlds, WITH the trackpad as an extra sweet bonus.

I'm more interested in all the OTHER buttons on my Blackberry. The play button on top, the lock button on top, two convenience keys, and the volume button. I like THOSE. Keep'em!


um...lock button? that's probably the key I'm most okay with them getting rid's like a door with a lock that you can unlock outside without a key...

I say throw them on there. This will be a transition time and most people buying these phones will be used to having the buttons and their seems to be plenty of space on those things. If they aren't it won't stop me from giving it a shot, I just love all the shortcuts on the phone, and I've been using the Playbook so I'm well adjusted to the Tablet OS.

I would agree with you if RIM had the luxury of taking iterative steps, but they don't because they are playing catchup. The last thing they need to do is waste time design hardware with buttons and an OS to support both software options and button options because you end up with a product that lacks focus or good design. Apple has set the standard on simple and intuitive design; you have to limit the way people interact with their device. There shouldn't be two or three ways to bring up the same menu screen because that creates unnecessary complication on a development front and user experience.

I really wish more developers left comments because people would realize why RIM has such a hard time getting people to build apps for the ecosystem. Just think...I got BBOS 6.0 and BBOS 7.0 to support, at least 4 resolutions, 3-4 screen size (curve, bold, torch (2)). It gets to the point that you can't create a functional design that works across all, but you can't focus on one either.

Well, phones aren't developed for developers, they are designed for consumers. It's great that they cater to developers and allow developers to develop simply, but why would you want to do that at the expense of the end-user's usability of the device?

Screen size, we really couldn't care less if we are okay with Bold or using any BB to begin with.

The logic is saying if exiting a programme is too complicated to programme, we can just force the BB to restart.

I am not using an iPhone because after trying all the platforms, I found that BB is the quickest device when I need to do something in a pitch.

Certainly developing apps for iPhone would be simpler and has a larger consumer base, so why BB? There are only so much you can do for developers. If you turn it into a developer sandbox device, it has no place in the general consumer market.

RIM is in the business of selling more and more phones each quarter. They can't survive by selling only to current blackberry users. Secondly, they are losing users in the US at an alarming rate which says that they aren't making the phones that consumers want. I don't see how app development is at the expense of end-user usability as the sole purpose of apps is the extend the functionality of the smartphone beyond its original purpose...

I use both an iphone and blackberry; if I need to find something on the web - Iphone wins, quickly make a reservation - iphone wins, send out an email - Blackberry wins, check facebook - iphone, video chat on skype - iphone, pull up client information from salesforce - iphone. I don't disagree that blackberry is a great communication tool, but the form of communication is quickly changing (i.e. twitter, social, video chat, etc.) and Blackberry isn't the best solution for that.

I don't think you have to create a developer platform but you do have to put some effort in design and function.

But this is not what consumers want...this is what consumers already have. The current BB has a very low consumer demand because it does very little things superior to iPhone, but this BB10 does nothing superior to iPhone. The ease-of-use and quick trackpad is compromised to make something inferior to iPhone.

You are using both an iPhone and a BB now, but with this BB10 instead of your current one, do you really think you have any reason to whip out your BB? This model is essentially sacrificing the "sending out email" aspect you think is superior to making minor improvements in other areas to make it more well-roundedly inferior.

Try a Dell Venue Pro, and you'll very quickly understand what I mean. The trackpad and keyboard is one integral component, it's stupid to lose any one. Even with touchscreen widely available, desktop still use both mouse and keyboard, notebook still use keyboard and trackpad, there's a very good reason for that.

Oh no...don't ever bring that topic back up again...they were so enthusiastic and insistent on that piece of trash that they called technology, they may just be crazy enough to revive it...."Look at this, it's innovative, it's annoying, it adds unnecessary complicated steps, it makes things less efficient, it doesn't work all the time, it's slow, everyone hates it...and we improved it slightly now to make it work some of the time, Storm 2"

not that it would do anything that the trackpad could...

similarly said by the people who believed phone would be replaced by internet, desktop/notebook to be replaced by smartphone, TV to be replaced by youtube, and BlackBerry to be replace by iPhone (though the last one will likely come true once this phone is released...)

One of the biggest irritants on the PB is the inability to hold a screen in place and scroll a window or list inside a web-page. I do agree that buttons can be rendered obsolete with good design, specific logical placement of option touchspots or follow Windows touch, a long touch on the object brings up an option menu or a first-hold, second quick touch combo does the same thing. I see that in selecting/holding some objects the PB already does this.

What I really want is some baseline combos - I desire the 9900/9930 but no auto-focus... The 9790 has AF but no HD video...... the 9810 has both of those but no NFC... c'mon, just one topoftheline, fully capable, please! And let it use BBQNX or whatever they'll call it.

Eagerly awaiting whatever comes, though...

Curve 8330 CDMA (eww, I know, u/g to Torch soon!)
Winner of EA Mobile SE Playbook - rockin' it!

you are right...what was RIM thinking...collect three and bring 3 phones with you everywhere you go? Are they really so bad in designing that they can't fit 3 inferior fuctions into one phone when all its other competitors can fit better ones into one. It doesn't even make sense why AF and NFC is included in some and not other than deliberate sabotage of the company.

For the gestures thing, I still think gestures are nowhere as efficient as buttons and trackpad. They are nice additions and okay when you have time, when you are in a hurry and just want to get your work done or if you are a heavy text/note/email person, this BB will be the most annoying device ever.

I like the idea of no more dedicated keys on phones but to be honest I sometimes have trouble selecting something that is a little small so I use the trackpad, so what I am getting at is if rim wants no more dedicated keys on their phones they need to work on their touch screens first, and I know there is away to fix it because I never have that issue on ios or android.

if its anything like the playbook gestures then i really dont see a use for all the keys..although either way the trackpad should stay.i still want the trackpad option.

I have a hard time fixing spelling mistakes on my playbook because A) it doesn't have spell check and B) because i find it hard to get the right spot by touch alone. I think that a trackpad is a good thing to put on these phones, i use mine all the time.

I feel if RIM is serious about being the phone of the future, they may want to take away the dedicated keys and also slim the phone in the process. Remember, blackberries are bulky but they also have a comfortable keyboard.

Now, at the same time many customers buy blackberry because it is the last phone that is still a phone. But at the same time, I feel like it is time to move on and not have dedicated keys for calling, but a functional powerful experience. The playbook does this well. Once people see the BB enough and use it enough and become comfortable with its setup, the need for keys will not be there. But at the same time, it would also help if they allowed you to have custom or different screens setup. Maybe one similar to droid and iphone, or is that a bad idea?

I don't care if someone labels something old. People want choices, and many want buttons and keyboards. There are Androids with full screens, slider keyboards, buttons...I hope BB can keep offering choices too, and have them work well (I guess that is the trick.)

I've liked some Androids with sliders and buttons I've tried, but I love my Torch much more and hope to stick with a BB if RIM keeps offering those options. If they don't, I'll get an Android that does, and I don't care what half-decade it's labeled. It works best for me and with all the owners out there apparently I'm not the only one. I truly hate the idea of a buttonless, keyboardless device, enough that I'd settle for a half screen again just to have them.

But a full-screen with buttons and slider is still MY personal "best of all worlds."

May we all have our personal favorite options and may there be a BB to fit the bill and work well! With apps, and everything!

Buttons are old? Ok. Let's just make our TV remote all touchscreen. Let's remove every button in a cockpit. Would you fly that plane? Buttons are here to stay in this world whether it be a phone, computer, or any device.

Honestly, the touch gestures on a BB isn't as slick as our iFriend. Its not bad, but we have to admit the smoothness and efficinecy of their touch interaction is something BB should strive for. But having said that, I wouldn't trade my BB 9900 for another device. My keypad is a mainstay.

Never been a fan of pure touch screens.

So keep the buttons. Saves us from pressing the darn screen to find out "where's my left key" ! Lol.

I'm in "wait and see what the alternative is" mode.

It could be great. My default reaction is "I want my buttons!"

(I have a Torch 9800 for Reference and a Playbook)

As it stands now, I love the flexibility I have with my 9800.

Touch is especially great if I have two hands to use to operate the phone, but the buttons are useful if I have to use the phone one-handed.

After using a Storm for a year, I was SOOOOO happy to have the 9800's touchpad; having that ability to navigate a screen by only moving my finger a few millimetres is fantastic. I REALLY don't want to lose that (though I grant that this can be "virtualized" at the bottom of a full-touch screen, maybe with haptics?)

I don't see the big difference. If all you're doing is scrolling, you simply "flick" on a touch screen with your thumb versus "flick" on a trackpad? You only really need to use two hands for the pinch gestures which BB already uses on the torch. As long as the phone isn't huge (another reason to remove the button real estate) you should be able to do a one finger type on the touch screen with predictive text and get just as fast as using a keyboard. Didn't crackberry do a test and lose to a iphone??

I get having the keyboard versus touch options...but do you really need dedicated "call, end, menu, and home" keys?? Those are one use buttons that can just get put on the screen??

That sounds good, just have these menu buttons, and a mini trackpad appear on the bottom of the screen when required. This way nothing is lost and tranditional BB users are happy.

except what the touchscreen can pick up is nowhere as sensitive as a trackpad...if you make a very small micro-movement on a trackpad and do the same on a touchscreen with a virtual trackpad, either scrolling up a line or scrolling up a page will have to be made into living Hell, since it doesn't sense as detail of a movement as a trackpad can

Yet you can design around the need to make micro-movements by having a large screen and UI made for touch. People act like this is already being done on iOS, Android, WP7 and WebOS??

Heck, if they really wanted to they could build in an optical trackpad into the bezel. Problem that people don't understand is that ever piece of hardware they put in the phone is a component cost that takes away a feature like processor speed, material design, screen size, screen resolution, storage, NFC, and etc. You can't through all these feature and hardware components and keep the price at $199. Why include something that you don't need or can design software to solve for a lot less especially when the broader market isn't going to care.

They don't have to keep it 199...the price:feature ratio for BB phone has never been a selling point.

From Playbook 2.0, we know clearly that they are not making a touch UI that allows us to use the phone with one hand or conveniently, so there...

If the gestures are exactly the same as the Playbook I don't think they'll be any good for one-handed use. On the other hand if there are different gestures for the different devices people will get confused. All in all I find it useless to decide now, and I'll be waiting until I actually get a buttonless phone and use it for a while before I decide.

Yup, I'm also for no keyboard, It's 2011, we have to abandon keyboards, smartphones today are used more then just to make calls or text, I think its clear that at the moment BlackBerry is way behind when it comes to Smartphones and Mobile OS, obviously we'll see major improvement with BB 10..

But the current line up is lacking big time, what amazes me is that anyone can even consume media on a 2.8" screen, and lets face it RIM is competing with Android, Apple, & Microsoft, having a thicker, heavier device with a small screen is not going to cut it..

Especially consider that Motorola, Dell and Nokia has manufactured similar devices ages ago. RIM is just pushing people to buy Dell Venue Pro.

I wonder if the majorty of the people that vote Yes, I need all four of my BlackBerry keys have a playbook or ever used one. I like the buttons but not over the bezel.

"It's 2011, we have to abandon keyboards, smartphones today are used more then just to make calls or text.."

Please excuse my sarcasm but my calendar works really well and this event isn't on it. It isn't on my friends' Androids with keyboards/buttons either. Do I have to take the keyboard and buttons off my PC too? Because that would be really sad. What makes a smartphone work better without a keyboard or buttons? Seems completely arbitrary to me, or rather, once again, a *personal preference*.

on the plus side, RIM has finally managed to copy the entire Palm Pre experience with all its weaknesses in a phone to be sold in 2012. Next, RIM will start producing actual stone tablets in 2014.

functions aside, this phone still looks ugly as's an iPhone or generic android with a slide out keyboard.

Let's all jump on the bandwagon and make identical phones because BlackBerry's identity is worth nothing.

This looks like something for the soldiers in Afghanistan not in the office, and it's not because of its functions. The stupid design looks rugged and military. I see RIM is trying to cater the Sci Fi market and hoping that Sci Fi producers would use their sub-phones as props.

I luvs me some buttons! Yep, I'm nearly an old-timer but I've adopted technology fairly well. I have a PB and really enjoy it. Really like the screen gestures and could see myself getting adjusted to 'touch' for the four buttons. But like others, I'd love to have a trackpad, or at least a software trackpad to navigate the small things on the screen. And of course I'm a huge BB Keyboard fanboy! I'm currently using my Bold 9650 and it looks like I'll hang on to it until something comes out next year with 'keys' on it. I could probably adjust to an all-touch-screen device but the physical keyboard makes typing soooo much easier with the tremor I have in my hands! That's why I'm willing to wait.

there seems to be some empty real estate at the bottom of the keyboard.
eliminate the back button (can be manifested in swipe gestures)

Use the BB symbol on the touch screen for the menu button (or swipe gestures.

move the call and end buttons to the bottom of the device under the alt and enter buttons.

There fixed. you still have your 4 button options but with a small twist.

OR just make them soft buttons built into the GUI somewhere and have redundancy with gesture mappings.

After thinking about it, the Bold model definitely needs those buttons. I know touch is the future but I already have a piece of the future in the form of the playbook. I really don't want a phone that makes my Playbook feel redundant.

I mean think about it. If RIM gets hot and heavy into the tablet market only to have a phone that does the same exact thing, wouldn't this stop people from buying both the phone and the tablet? This is one of the main reasons why I didn't go for the torch. I didn't want an inferior touch device and a beast like the playbook as my bread and butter. When I want fast internet and freedom in browsing I use my Playbook but when I want to knock out an email or obviously phonecalls or just plain type faster I use my Bold and it's sexy keyboard. I move around on that phone like a hungry man through Golden corral.

I genuinely want to ask how many people feel they still need a playbook if the phone is an exact replica of the playbook but smaller?

I think that's a waste of a lot of hardware components if both devices do the exact same thing. A touch screen monitor wireless monitor connected to the phone could effectively replace the playbook. It's probably a lot more energy efficient too. What is the point of all the hardware in the playbook if it does exactly the same thing as those in the phone and has the exact same os installed?

Working with the same environment across two devices is one thing, but making them one yet doubling the hardware to perform things redundantly just doesn't make any sense to me at this point.

Can we realize that this is a PROTOTYPE of a PROTOTYPE??? This literally is a graphic generation of what RIM is thinking of making.

We have no reason to believe that what we see right now is in any way similar to what we'll get in Q2 2012.

if we don't say something and those fat little so and so in Waterloo think we are happy with the blood rendered image then they will produce it as is

So as of now, 64% of BB users want either a trackpad or the buttons. Take a hint RIM.

I think the best solution is having an all-touch device, and then 2 that are similar to the Torch and the Bold. But that wouldn't be trying to replicate Apple's lack of buttons or Samsung's so I doubt that will happen. I wish BB would just stick to their own unique brand and stop following the other companies.

Love my PlayBook, but for a phone I need one-handedness. That means trackpad. When browsing on the PB it is massively annoying to accidently touch somewhere on the screen & have an ad start loading. As has been mentioned, editing text is slow trying to get the cursor where you want it. Half the time I give up, delete extra letters and retype because it is faster. However, I am open to the concept of a virtual trackpad.

What about being able to dedicate buttons? I am not ready to give up QuickLaunch. What about being able to launch other apps or programs with one flick of the thumb? To me it is all about speed, ease & customization for one- handed use.

Every phone has a significant look and blackberry has that with the four 4/5 keys(count it as 5 with the track pad). its up to the team but if they cant pull it off its fine with me!

I went from the full qwerty BBs to the Storm 2, and now the 9850. And also have the Playbook.

I find that I rarely use the answer and end buttons, but use the BBmenu button, the back button, and the track pad. I could see the back button being replaced by a gesture or software button. But I use the menu button a lot (obviously for menus, but also for the app switcher).

The track pad I use for editing text, and especially for selecting small links that are grouped together (rather than zooming all the way in to get the links big enough for touch accuracy).

I wonder if there is a way to merge the BBmenu and track pad together. Although, on the down side, having a single button/trackpad at the bottom would look a lot like that Apple phone that I have heard a few people talk about.

and I think we can drop the term Superphone now..from London we know roughly that the specs are probably just current specs which is of course outdated by release date. Using the term Superphone to describe a phone that is less functional than the top smartphones and with average specs and mediocre os is hardly fair. Let's not turn ourselves into little elves spreading propaganda for Ritler.

Let the characteristics of QNX guide the development of the UI. Don't force BBOS onto this new platform. I personally don't want to scroll through menus, etc.

RIM designers basically know what makes BB different and great and this will surely be 'built-in' into BB10 phones. They know we type emails with one hand, we like to answer and end calls quickly, we like easy emailing, etc...

haha...they were the one to make Storm, and after failure, insisted on a Storm 2, and still made claim for quite sometime after that that they would not give up on surepress...
I have more faith in Santa.

no buttons..they are becoming a thing of the past. if blackberry is to survive, they need to go where the market is going. people want screen real estate so drop the buttons and dont look back..gestures are where its at

they are not going where the market is going...they are going where the market had been half a year ago. That is not a good sign.

The trackpad is honestly the only thing holding me back from a full switch. I have a Dell Venue Pro sitting in my drawer that does everything BB does and better and with a beautiful design inside and outside. The only reason I don't use it is because it has no bloody trackpad.

RIM should just fire their designers immediately. I mean how many mistakes can the same team of people make repeatedly, you blew the Storm and went on to build Storm 2, and then blew the Playbook and did created a wide range and extremely unnecessary designs of OS7 handset. Seriously, these people would have been fired in any other company.

I had an android and got used to the touch screen. I have a torch 9850 and typing on it sucks. If this new phone has a bigger screen and a better typing feel than I'm all for it. The buttons are nice to have but if they are not on the new one it won't kill me.

i only use BB because of the BBM and the efficiency of getting things done quickly, i use the 9860 and without those keys, i'll be crazy.

i also own a playbook and i hate not having a menu key.

I want a full keyboard! If there's no keyboard then full touchscreen is better. The 4 action keys can easily be placed on a touchscreen. But without the full keyboard I dunno if ill even buy one.

Even while useing my calculator on my 9900 I use the real keys instead of the touchscreen. Its basically the reason I use blackberries

Just as long as RIM makes the touch capabilities a lot better. Like the time it takes to pull up the options when you hold your finger down on the Playbook or the swipe gestures to turn a page needs to be less of an effort. Once they smooth those things out then having no buttons shouldn't be that bad.

I think there should be some with keyboards and some without. I very much prefer the London to this though.

The only reason why I don't have an iphone is because it has no buttons. I have a torch and still use my keys to type. If they get rid of the buttons and the trackpad I don't see a point to keeping my blackberry.

If I wanted an iphone I would have chosen an iphone. Same goes for Android. I want the blackberry identity. Whatever is said by both sides here, the fact remains that the name and sight of a blackberry exudes class and what's the word? Savoire faire? Lol. Everyone that sees my 9900 picks it up and handles it. Its a damn sexy phone. I want the same for this line. I think RIM is capable of executing both. I want cutting edge technology but am determined to have my blackberry iconic image. Nothing sexy about an iphone. It's a bar of techno wonder for sure. But lacks style. If we shout loud enough long enough RIM will listen and give us our physical qwerty, our trackpad and our buttons. We shouldn't settle for anything less than everything.

well said.

Saying you can't add in buttons and trackpads because playbook doesn't have them is just saying you're lazy...Playbook doesn't allow native BBM too...Why don't you take that away as well. Saying we'll add them later is exactly like launching the Playbook; you're not innovating a new function, we're just asking you to keep an existing function and use whatever way to bypass the problem you're having.

the current QNX OS is not tailored for trackpad? that's your problem, RIM, not ours.

No phone catering our needs, we will switch to other superior phones. I think the last few disappointments have done it for a lot of hardcore BB fans.

Windows Phone has TellMe, iPhone has SIRI, Google has their Voice commands...and you are not even at a level close to competing this functions yet, and yet you want to remove the existing trackpad navigation system?

Transitions are your problem, RIM. You can't handle it, you are screwed. Don't expect the consumers to buy your transitional products time after time as loyal support of your brand; you are a company, not a charity organization, we owe you nothing. Sticking around for the last 3 years is more than loyal, yet you still come up with these ridiculous half-baked products. What can I say. Why not just ask us to donate money to RIM to fund your research for a phone in 3 years.

You call these leap frogging the competitions? I call these leaping off the Empire State Building.

I will like to have the 4 keys and Yesss I can't wait for the New BB OS 10 Super Smart phones to be available.

Hurry up RIM!!!!!

Fpr God's sake, just drop a phone in all flavors on release date. One with buttons, one without, and another with both. They did that when they dropped OS7, why not BB 10?????? All the damn fuss for what?? smh

At the end of the day the only BB7 phone with less horrible sales is guess what...just put all the damn things in one phone and stop taking things away for no reason.

As part of the bottom beasel integrate the 4 buttons with in the middle a blank for the bottom beasel gestures. Include the symbols on the beasel to make it easier. That's my 2 cents.

I may stay with my 9930 for a few years if i can't have the keyboard & buttons that make the BB so productive.

I hope, RIM will not do another stupid decision like on the Bold 9900 - camera without AF and a weak battery. The 4 keys AND the trackpad are very important for the work efficiency and using the phone with one hand. We dont need a second iPhone, we want our Blackberry with keys!!

But I like the 9900/9930 form factor/UI. RIM has to keep at least one model of the form factor, it's their bread and butter! It will keep the fan base they have. That said, RIM should try to break ground on different form factors/UI on other models. Swipe/gesture COULD replace dedicated buttons on a pocket device if it works well. The only buttons I would even consider changing would be dropping the side programmable buttons and change the phone/answer and end call/power buttons to programmable buttons.

The trackpad is very important as well. Try to scroll in your messages or contacts if you are holding your phone only in one hand without the trackpad. Very uncomfotable.

In my opinion, I don't believe it matters what blackberry users want. These phones are being produced to draw in the iphone and android users. I love the trackpad on my phone myself, but the four buttons could be touch and it wouldn't bother me.

But again...this is RIMs chance to get into the all touch market even with a slider. There are plenty of Androids that are all touch with slider's and the mytouch's are doing exceptionally well.

All touch is what is driving the market now...not trackpads or buttons.

It would be very unfortunate if they do not realize at this point that iPhone and Android users would not have the slightest interest in this device, because this is exactly the device they own half a year ago.

The market is driven by new functions or new combinations of functions, not currently existing devices. Just because RIM can now make iPhone and dual-core android wannabe, that doesn't mean they will win any share. That's like opening a Facebook-ish website that's not quite as good and think you will win market shares from Facebook.

It's nice to have a keyboard, but I prefer a bigger screen over keys in most occasions. A BB10 phone in the form factor of the Nokia E7 or N900 would be really nice, but I would probably still take the full touch phone (especially if this makes place for a better camera like Nokia E7 vs. N8).

I love my PlayBook, and if those new BBX phones are gonna be button-less I want them just like the PLAYBOOK, gestures included!! People always fear the change.

Have you used a playbook or are you just spouting off at he mouth? The PB was a great idea, it was implemented wrong and its marketing and price was well ahead of the finished product. The product itself though is very good.

Now, if they had the power of the PB and the ease of use of a BB phone, win. They need to remove the buttons, so we can have more screen to do more things. The extra space can be used for MANY things, including apps, and not just calls. Besides, the whole point of the PB was to out ipad the ipad. By having GREAT gestures for basic features, you don't need dedicated buttons.

With a bigger screen (have any of you people used a tablet or touch screen android) you don't really need a trackpad, clicking right where you want to touch or sliding the screen down to scroll is so easier and a fluid experience.

BB needs to put more power behind this bad boy and make the screen nice and sexy while keeping its email capabilities.

There's a reason why Playbook's sales did poorly, and it's not just because the product is unfinished, well not entirely, at least. It's because it brings nothing new to the table. Playbook is rated as somewhat positive here because all of us are BB users and we can bridge and the stuff is hardware-wise magical comparing to the BB6 devices at the time Playbook was launched.

Playbook's gestures are nothing creative and new, they have been around before playbook. The touchscreen is the worst among all the tablets available. Software-wise, Playbook 2.0 is not any more advance than the software in the first iPad.

You really should try the Dell Venue Pro, which is exactly how this device is modeled, qwerty, no trackpad...all of the users (including me) who switched complained about the lack of trackpad makes editing extremely difficult. This is taking away the email capabilities. The point of a trackpad is to shrink the screen input to a reachable area, so it makes no sense that a bigger screen would negate the need of a trackpad, it only makes it more useful.

Tablet is a different thing from phone altogether, if typing things and communicating on my phone is as slow as any tablet out there, I would go for old school analogue phone.

The voting is close than I thought it would be for this. I have a 9850 and actually like the keys and touchpad but I don't miss them on my PlayBook. That is one thing I like about the PlayBook over my iPad no buttons need on my PlayBook.

I started with a storm and just used my upgrade for a torch. When I got my storm the only BB that vzw had with a keyboard at the time was a curve. I found the buttons too small for my fingers so went with the all touch storm. I've had my torch for 4 days now and love the virtual keyboard. I'm sure I could adjust to not having the buttons but don't know how I ever got anything done without the trackpad. In my view the trackpad needs to stay. You can't get that kind of accuracy on a full touch device.

bb's need buttons.i think they should just make storm and torch for ppl that want touch.keep torch as a slid out and make storm all touch.i just came to black berry i cant imagin goin back to iphone.i wish bb users would stop saying we dont need buttons and they hope we sont have buttons because its not for the better.for 1 it would make the bb just another touchscreen phone with no stand out. take A GOOD LOOK AT THE MARKET RIGHT looks like every company is putting out the same damn phone over and over again.just faster or better's actually bring more options with their hate to lose that AND MY TRACK PAD


When it comes to serious typing, I need a Keyboard. During the recent RIM outage, I had to type on an Apple iToy. I hated every second of it. Please Mike and Jim, do NOT take away our BlackBerry Keyboard and Buttons. That's what makes a BlackBerry, a BlackBerry!

If you decide to do this, I will NOT buy another BlackBerry. And I don't think, I'm the only one.

Here's hoping RIM comes to its senses and does the right thing for the millions of BlackBerry faithful, here in North America and around the World.

- CB

Try using the touch screen while using gloves. If it wasn't for the trackpad I would not be able to post this right now.

I'd like to see a massive touch screen like the new Nexus, and similar to the soft keys Honey Comb now has and Ice Cream Sandwich will have. Maximize screen ! Use soft keys, not dedicated hard keys.

A full qwerty keyboard is essential to keep the old school blackberry folks in the fold as well as to attract the teen market (which is after all the future).

It's imperative that a Bold-like BB 10 device come out sooner rather than later.

Just think how great a BB10 Bold would be! They can eliminate the larger keys (track ball) and just have the standard key pad. You could use the touch to scroll and make calls, etc. Would pick up about 20% larger screen.

I don't know if this is even possible but could you turn an icon on the screen into a track pad like a software version of the current track pad. At that point you could move it around to were you like it or maybe have it pop up like the keyboard does.

This would be pointless. A purpose of physical trackpad is so that you can feel the edges of the trackpad for maximum effectiveness. Otherwise, RIM would have probably done away with the optical trackpad in favor of a blank flat area in between the buttons. But this would not work well. Trust me.

There will ALWAYS be a market for smartphones with buttons, until technology advances enough to the point where the touchscreens themselves can "transform" and EFFECTIVELY emulate tactile feedback so that users can always know exactly where a function is by touch without looking at the screen once. Being able to operate a device without staring at a screen is an important and safe feature for business and power users.

It will be a long time before we see transformable screens that effectively emulate tactile feedback. When that happens, THAT will be the day button-less devices will truly rule.

Until then, BlackBerry's with buttons will always be much faster, easier and safer to use for us power/business users. Device manufacturers that continue to offer multiple device choices will come out ahead. Manufacturers that make ALL of their devices one or the other will limit themselves. If Apple offered a keyboard device, it would have been over.

Touchscreen-only devices like iPhones and most Android devices are like toys to me. They're cool and fun for users who are more patient and have time to stare at the screen and tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap around everywhere. They must keep their eyes FOCUSED on the screen during the entire time while doing any and everything.

I'm not one of those people. I work fast and I multitask. I look at people in the eyes while talking to them, while at the same time typing a quick text message to my business partner while only glancing at the phone for 1/8 second to make sure I'm sending it to the right person LOL. Take that capability away and force me to stare at the screen for every single second, I'll eventually throw it against the wall.

I like to initiate a call quickly by either quickly typing a name on a keyboard with tactile feedback. This way I always know where to put my fingers naturally without looking because of the physical bump on the "D" key on my BlackBerry. Or by pressing the voice-command button.

Take this functionality away, and you have a strong base of users that will destroy RIM.

At the risk of sounding old fashioned, I want one green button and one red button. I tried an android for 48 hours and my biggest beef was not having dedicated buttons to answer and hang up... ...otherwise if the Blackberry 10 based on QNX, there is no real need for a lot of buttons.

Having said that, they need to make sure there are models with traditional Querty keyboards. I got my wife to try typing a message on a Samsung Galaxy S. Picture this: she's got a newborn in one arm and slightly longer nails. after getting two words into the message (which took almost a minute), I swapped the sim card back into a 9700 and easily punched out messages with one hand....

My sister in law had a similar experience on android too...

So here's the tricky part in all this. RIM needs to update their hardware/software without abandoning what makes them unique from their competitors...